Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 30th Oct 2013 23:33 UTC, submitted by drcoldfoot
Multimedia, AV

Remember the whole H.264 thing? Cisco just solved it for us - more or less.

The industry has been divided on the choice of a common video codec for some time, namely because the industry standard - H.264 - requires royalty payments to MPEG LA. Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco is making a bold move to take concerns about these payments off the table.

We plan to open-source our H.264 codec, and to provide it as a binary module that can be downloaded for free from the Internet. Cisco will not pass on our MPEG LA licensing costs for this module, and based on the current licensing environment, this will effectively make H.264 free for use in WebRTC.

Cisco will release the code of its H.264 codec under the BSD license, and will also make binaries available for just about every possible platform. Cisco will pay all the licensing costs - over the coming decade, this will cost them a whopping $65 million, illustrating just how expensive H.264 is, and how unrealistic it was to expect it to become a standard without a free implementation being available for everyone to use. It has to be noted that both end users and developers can make use of this.

Mozilla has already announced it will implement this codec into Firefox. All this is great, but it doesn't really address the issue in the long term - the next generation of codecs is coming, and once they arrive, this whole process starts all over again. Will another sugar daddy step up by that time?

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"Whilst h.265 HEVC and VP9/Opus (whatever that is called) are evolutionary advancements respectively on h.264 and VP8/Vorbis (Webm)

Vorbis and Opus don’t share much at all, all your comments are just about the video codecs.
It’s very likely that Opus will get paired with Daala.

In theory any of these video codecs can be paired with any of the audio codecs mentioned. As far as I know there is nothing to prevent h.265 to be paired with, say Opus, within, say, a mkv container. It is simply that no-one is pushing such a combination.

I only mention VP8 in combination with Vorbis because that combination (within a mkv-like container) defines Webm. As far as I know the combination of VP9 and Opus does not yet have an official name, but that combination is currently shipping as an experimental feature within the Chrome browser.

To preserve freedom from patent encumbrances, it makes sense to combine Daala with a free/open audio codec, within a free/open container format, and as far as I know Daala + Opus within a mkv container would be the best candidate at this time.

Edited 2013-10-31 13:00 UTC

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